The Best Walks in and Around Bath, UK

Discover Bath via the Cotswold Way National Trail
Discover Bath via the Cotswold Way National Trail | © Lynne Nieman / Alamy Stock Photo
Kathryn Beeson

What better way to discover this Unesco-listed city’s ancient history, elegant Regency architecture and surrounding Cotswold countryside than on foot? Whether you’re looking for a guided tour, a city centre meander or longer walks, these picks from Culture Trip’s local insiders will set you on your way.

1. Walking Tour with Blue Badge Tourist Guides

Hiking Trail

Bath Pump rooms exterior signs and columns with the west window of Bath Abbey in the background.
© Anthony Brown / Alamy Stock Photo

Blue Badge Tourist Guides are the official tour guides of the UK, endorsed by both local tourist boards and Visit Britain. This makes them a great option if you’re new to the city and want to find out more about Bath’s Unesco-listed city centre. Check out Bath Walking Tours for routes that will take you through layers of history as you learn more about the major sites, from Roman times through the medieval and Regency periods up to the present day. Recommended by local insider Matthew Wilcox

2. Guilty Pleasures Tour

Architectural Landmark

Take a journey through the culinary heart of the city with an artisan food-and-drink tour. You’ll visit some of Bath’s finest producers and get the lowdown on local food-scene favourites from friendly guides, with seven or eight tasting opportunities on the way, both savoury and sweet. The guides are also happy to point out major landmarks, so you’ll get some bonus insights into the city’s history along the way. Arrive on an empty stomach to make the most of it. Recommended by local insider Matthew Wilcox

3. One-Day Tour of Jane Austen’s Bath

Hiking Trail

Bath’s association with Jane Austen is well known, so why not explore the city’s Regency history through the prism of her life and work? The tour takes in some of Bath’s most elegant buildings and includes entry to high-society hangout the Assembly Rooms, as well as the No 1 Royal Crescent and the Holburne Museum, set in Ms Austen’s favourite Sydney Gardens. Round your day off with English afternoon tea in Queen’s Square, one of Georgian Bath’s most desirable addresses. Recommended by local insider Matthew Wilcox

4. Kennet and Avon Canal Path

Hiking Trail

© travellinglight / Alamy Stock Photo

The Kennet and Avon Canal stretches from Bristol to Reading, taking in Bath en route. Start from the train station in Bath for a picturesque route under bridges, past honey-coloured mansions and pristine gardens and into the greenery of the southern English countryside. Turn around whenever you start to feel tired. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a day trip, you can walks as far as the attractive market town of Bradford-upon-Avon, then take the train back. It’s a pleasant route that takes in aqueducts, local beauty spots, floating markets and canal barge cafés. Recommended by local insider Madlena Gocheva

5. Bath Skyline Walk

Natural Feature

The Bath Skyline Walk is a circular walk that starts in the city centre, taking a 6mi (9.6km) trail that offers impressive views over the Bath skyline and across the Blackdown Hills. It’s a short enough walk to manage at sunset for dramatic panoramas. Alternatively, set your alarm early, grab a thermos and watch as the sun rises over the city. The early start is well worth it. Recommended by local insider Madlena Gocheva

6. Cotswold Way National Trail

Hiking Trail

The Cotswold Way is a favourite with hikers and a great way to explore the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll find rolling hills, native wildlife, beautiful views and medieval thatched villages en route, plus a quintessential country pub or two for a stop and a pint. The full trail is 102mi (164km) long – attempt it all on a walking holiday, or pick a section for a day, half-day or even just a couple of hours’ worth of fresh air. Recommended by local insider Madlena Gocheva

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